Follow the foodies to Jozi's finest Thai restaurant.
The restaurant in question is an understated prize of a place,tucked away in the warren that is Cyrildene -- fondly known as ChinaTown because of its considerable Asian populous. Sai Thai is headed bythe graceful Micky Siriporn, who also doubles as Thai Airways' headchef. She launched her restaurant almost four years ago to fan the home fire, which also gives insight to her choice of name as Sai Thai means simply: "connected to Thailand". "When you live in another land, you can sometimes miss home," she explains, "but when I cook, I no more homesick." Exacting the opposite effect, Siriporn's fine fare made me want to pack my bags and head for Thailand's fair shores without further ado!
A new item on the menu (Siriporn updates her bill of fare regularly, so its always fresh) is Thod Mun Goong - Thai style prawn cakes made from chopped Mozambican prawns, deep fried and served with a Thai plum sauce. Springy, fresh, and golden brown, I could eat these newbie's all day long, and never tire of them. Another goodie for an appetizer is Siriporn's Gra Dug Mhu Thod Grathiem - Thai style deep fried pork ribs. Crunchy and juicy, and sprinkled with lashings of crispy garlic, these babies are incredibly moreish. The Chicken Satay's, served with two sauces, one being cucumber and the other a peanut sauce, are also scrummy. For mains we let Siriporn lead the way and she bowled us over with a Mild Mozambican Prawn Curry, and a Hot Seafood (a nix mix of mussels, prawns, fish, calamari, and squid) Curry, accompanied by a dainty bowl of traditional Jasmine Rice. Siriporn is also a master at vegetarian cuisine, in the "Tao" religious tradition - a Buddhist offshoot.
I've eaten at Thai restaurants, but Sai Thai is truly the most authentic to the palate, and has racked up numerous accolades for its efforts - it's rated as Dine Magazine's Top 10 Everyday, and Top 100 Restaurants in the country. Heed my advice and book a table, because this little restaurant buzzes with bodies, and is very popular with locals, and pilgrims alike.
Closed Monday. Tuesday to Sunday noon to 3.30pm, and 5.30pm till late (kitchen closes at 9pm). Shop 1, Cyrildene Centre, corner Marcia Street and Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene, Johannesbur. 011-615-1339.by Laura Banks